Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Patch Zircher & Stephen Segovia
Inkers: Patch Zircher & Art Thibert
Letters: Rob Leigh
It’s finally time to wrap up the lingering mystery of who is Clark Kent. One of the lingering questions from the DC Rebirth launch/relaunch of Action Comics has been who is the human Clark Kent that has been lurking around Metropolis and writing for the Daily Planet. Action Comics #973 begins the Mild Mannered storyline that will hopefully give the readers answer to the question who is this Clark Kent.
I’ll be honest, I’m curious to know what is going on. More so then I thought I would be when I began picking Action Comics up once again. It’s been years since I had read a Superman book consistently, all the way back to when Jeph Loeb was writing it during Our Worlds at War. But when I read Superman during Rebirth I feel in love with what Tomasi and Gleason were doing with that title so I decided to pick up Action Comics as well and I have been pleasantly surprised. Dan Jurgens is telling a compelling Superman story and although using the same characters as Superman he is telling a very different story. Where Superman is focused on the Kent Family (Clark, Lois, & Jon) Action Comics is focused on the expanded Metropolis ‘family’ of the Superman mythos and he is doing an outstanding job. I’m somewhat surprised, as I didn’t really enjoy his previous run on Superman in the ‘90s with the Death of Superman and all the subsequent storylines that followed. But I like what he is doing today and find Action Comics to be a compelling read every other week.
There is more going on in Action Comics #973 then just the mystery of Clark Kent. While that is front and center with an undercover assignment going wrong due to Clark’s emotions and then Clark dropping in on Lois at her now deceased doppelgängers apartment, which creeps young Jon out finally motivates Lois to figure out who this Clark Kent really is. While this is occurring Superman is called to the Fortress of Solitude in the Himilayas by Steel to help with Lana Lang’s rapidly degrading body due to her superpowers gained when the New 52’s Superman died. This will make since to anyone currently reading Superwoman but if you are not picking that book up you may be a bit lost but not so much you are pulled out of the story. There’s also a reveal of a classic villain, which Jurgens has a history with in the final pages setting up a future conflict. All in all Action Comics #973 is a set up issue for the Mild Mannered story as well as the following storyline.
Patch Zircher and Stephen Segovia join Dan Jurgens as the pencilers on the issue. I’m not sure when from Patrick changed his pen name to Patch but that is how he is listed in the credits so that’s how I will refer to him. Both do a nice job on this issue as they share a similar style, which has been a nice thing about the rotating artists on Action Comics. None of the artists have a vastly different style so on a whole the entire run so far has a consistent feel and look to it. The art doesn’t blow me away but the pages are clean and detailed.
Verdict: If you’re a fan of Superman and have been enjoying his current status quo then Buy. Dan Jurgens return to the characters that made him famous in the ‘90s has been very enjoyable since it’s launch and it doesn’t seem to be faltering at all. Action Comics has been consistently good and #973 is no different.